Add9 Chord E Shape Guitar Chord Of The Week

This week's Guitar Chord Of The Week is a great-sounding add 9 chord.

Add 9 Chord Shape For Guitar
Add 9 Chord Shape For Guitar - Play It In The Example Progression

This particular shape is quite a stretch and by the end of the article your hand may be a little bit bigger!

The add9 is a very nice sounding chord. You can use it to brighten up your own songs by using it in place of major chords.

You can also use it to create riffs by playing it as an arpeggio. At the end of the article we show you how...

The chord diagram shown above is a movable shape, and can be used to play any add9 chord. Position the blue note (which represents the root note of the chord) over the desired note on the guitar fretboard.

Add9 Chord Theory

Add9 chords are very simply major chords with an added note: the ninth.

This means that when written out strictly they would have four notes. With a root of C these would be: C, D, E and G.

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Cadd9 Notation
Cadd9 Notation

However, as we have found in previous Guitar Chord Of The Week articles, guitar chords can contain doubled-up notes and can also omit unecessary notes.

Below, an A add9 nine chord is shown in diagram and notation form.

Aadd9 Guitar Chord Diagram
Aadd9 Guitar Chord Diagram

Aadd9 Guitar Chord tab
Aadd9 Guitar Chord Tab

Too Much Of A Stretch?

This way of playing an add9 chord can be quite a stretch in the lower fretboard positions; it is less of a struggle to play further up the fretboard (where the frets are narrower and you don't have to strain as much).

An easier way of playing this chord is not to play the top two strings (and therefore the barre) at all. All of the main notes are still present, but the chord has a lower, 'darker' sound. You can use your index finger to dampen the strings, or just avoid strumming them.

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Chord Progression Featuring add9 Chords

The chord progression below is in C major. Use it to practice playing the add9 chord.

Add 9 Chord Progression
Add 9 Chord Progression

Now play the same progression but this time play the chords with an arpeggio pattern. You can invent your own pattern or use the example provided below.

Add 9 Arpeggio Riff
Add 9 Arpeggio Riff (Play at a slow tempo)

Remind you of anything? Andy Summers famously used add9 chords in the Police song 'Every Breath You Take'.

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Learn about guitar chord theory here. Want to learn more chords? Check out our Guitar Chord Book.

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